Preview: Korean Musicians at SXSW 2017


It’s always fun – and a challenge – to try to plan out your schedule at music and film festivals which is why I write these preview articles, to try to make things a little easier for you. If you’re like me, the chances are there are lots of musicians and/or films you want to see and often times, they play at the same time but in different venues. Since cloning yourself isn’t a viable option yet, my advice (from years of experience trying to see everything and often having to make that hard choice) is to make a list of everything and everyone you want to see and do. Then rate them all 1, 2, or 3.

Those rated 1 are the ones you have to see, the ones you must see, the ones that it will break your heart if you don’t see. Be honest. The twos are those that you really want to see, those that you’d be sad to miss, those that you’ve not yet seen. And the ones rated 3 are those that it would be nice to see, the ones you’re interested in or intrigued about, those others have recommended but you’re not quite hooked on.

Then plug in all the times for all the musicians, films, talks, etc. And build your schedule by adding all the ones rated 1 first. Then add in any of the twos that fit. Finally, add any of the threes that fit. And hopefully they will all fit into your festival schedule but most importantly, hopefully all those rated 1 do.

It’s always a challenge and there’s always that one group that never seems to fit into your schedule, every year, without fail, and it will make you want to bang your head against a wall. Or maybe that’s just me.

But since I want to save you some frustration, I’ve listed all the Korean musicians (and Korean-American ones) below. No Korean films this year but there are two with a bit of a Korean connection.

Please note: this article will be updated as more information is made available. When first published, not all times and dates for the shows were in place.

Who’s going to be at SXSW 2017

For more information on the artists below, you can also check out our earlier articles on the SXSW 2017 – here, here and here.

As always, we include musicians from the Korean diaspora in our list. Artists/groups are listed in alphabetical order and there’s a ton of great musicians to check out so start planning your schedule now. ^^

Big Phony

Drunken Tiger

Galaxy Express

Glen Check


Luna Lee

Megan Lee

Neon Bunny

Nick & Sammy

No Brain

Red Velvet

Run River North

Windy City




Image courtesy of SXSW


Gloria is an out-of-work party girl who, after getting kicked out of her apartment by her boyfriend, is forced to leave her life in New York and move back to her hometown. When news reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul, South Korea, Gloria gradually comes to the realization that she is somehow connected to this far-off phenomenon. As events begin to spin out of control, Gloria must determine why her seemingly insignificant existence has such a colossal effect on the fate of the world. [synopsis from SXSW]

  • Alamo Lamar D (1120 S Lamar Blvd) – March 10 @ 6:15-8:04 pm
  • Alamo Ritz (320 E 6th St) – March 14 @ 4:15-6:04 pm
  • Alamo Lamar D (1120 S Lamar Blvd) – March 16 @ 2:15-4:04 pm
Image courtesy of SXSW


A dangerous virus, one that prevents the infected from controlling their inhibitions, is discovered in a corporate law building, the very same firm that recently cleared an infected man on murder charges. When a quarantine is issued and the building goes on lockdown, all hell breaks loose inside, while a disgruntled employee (Steven Yeun) and an irate client (Samara Weaving) must fight and even kill their way to the top to “have a word” with the corrupt executives who wronged them before time runs out.  [synopsis from SXSW]

  • Alamo Ritz (320 E 6th St) – March 13 @ 11:55-1:21 am
  • Alamo Lamar E (1120 S Lamar Blvd) – March 14 @ 12:30-1:56 pm
  • Alamo Lamar B (1120 S Lamar Blvd) – March 15 @ 12:00-1:26 pm


Tuesday, March 14

Flamingo Cantina (515 E 6th St)

  • Windy City (reggae) – 10:00-10:40 pm


Wednesday, March 15

Valhalla (710 Red River St)

  • Neon Bunny (electronic) – 8:00-8:30 pm


ScratcHouse (617 E 7th St)

  • XXX (hip hop/rap) – 8:40-9:10 pm


Victorian Room (604 Brazos St)

  • Luna Lee (rock) – 9:30-10:10 pm
  • Nick & Sammy (pop) – 11:30 pm-12:10 am


Thursday, March 16

Lamberts (401 W 2nd St)

  • Megan Lee (singer-songwriter) – 9:00-9:40 pm
  • Big Phony (singer-songwriter) – 10:00-10:40 pm
  • Run River North (rock) – 1:00-1:50 am


Maggie Mae’s Rooftop (323 E 6th St)

  • No Brain (punk) – 12:00-12:40 am


Friday, March 17

K-pop Night Out @ The Belmont (305 W 6th St) – 7:30 pm – 2:00 am

  • Big Phony (singer-songwriter)
  • No Brain (punk)
  • Galaxy Express (rock)
  • Drunken Tiger (hip hop/rap)
  • Yoonmirae (R&B)
  • Hyolyn (pop)
  • Red Velvet (pop)


Saturday, March 18

Barracuda Backyard (611 E 7th St)

  • Galaxy Express (rock) – 1:00-1:40 am


No date/time yet

  • Glen Check (electronic)


Final Thoughts

I will be updating it as times are confirmed and hopefully more shows are added! My apologies if I missed any show featuring Korean music but the above will at least give you a head start in your planning. No Korean films listed but I did include a couple with a Korean connection for your consideration.

And now it’s time for me to spazz… I can’t wait!! Less than two weeks to go and I’m already counting down the days (okay, I’ve been doing that for a while) and rounding up interviews. There are some bands I know well and love, plus some others I can’t wait to see live. So much fun to look forward to! And yes, I know I’m overusing the exclamation marks but if this isn’t the time, I don’t know what is.

Don’t forget to follow me (@CindyinTO) and ATK Magazine (@ATKmagazine) on Twitter and Instagram for as-it-happens festival fun. I really can’t wait to see them all! And of course, share it all with you. Good luck building your schedule! And if you see me at SXSW, come say ‘hi’!

Who are you excited about seeing at SXSW? Please let us know!

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

%d bloggers like this: